12 Sep 2016

Housing NZ playing judge and jury - housing advocate

11:58 am on 12 September 2016

Housing New Zealand is playing judge and jury by evicting an alleged drug dealer before she's been tried, says a social housing advocate, but the agency claims it has little choice.

A group of state houses in a South Auckland suburb.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The agency says the woman - who has young children - will be kicked out because the police found drugs in her home.

It said it did not tolerate illegal activity and it was taking action as a last resort.

She was selling cannabis with a street value of $1200 a day, the agency said.

Housing NZ was looking to evict her as soon as possible, after it was awarded possession of the property by the Tenancy Tribunal.

But Mangere Budgeting Service head Darryl Evans said Housing New Zealand was putting vulnerable children before any facts had been established.

"The reality is, she is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Should Housing New Zealand be the judge and jury and decide that the right way forward is eviction? I would say no, purely based on the fact there are children. I would consider them vulnerable because of course they are in a home that was allegedly exposed to drugs."

Mr Evans said it was likely Child Youth and Family would now be looking at the children.